How to Apply Paste Wax to Wood Furniture

Written by ehow home & garden editor
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Paste wax won't protect your furniture, but it will give it a nice sheen. If you have a shellac, varnish, lacquer or polyurethane finish on a piece of furniture and want to polish the finish to a nice gloss, apply paste wax. Since it doesn't attract dust to the surface of the wood, paste wax will keep its luster longer than commercial spray polish. Read on to learn how to apply paste wax to wood furniture.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Finished wood furniture
  • Several soft, clean cloths
  • Paste wax
  • Power buffer (optional)

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  1. 1

    Clean the surface of the wood. Blow or wipe off any dust and wipe the surface with a damp cloth.

  2. 2

    Place a golf ball-sized lump of paste wax in the center of a six-inch square cloth. Wrap the corners of the cloth up around the wax and twist. Place the balled-up rag into the center of a second square cloth, and wrap and twist these corners around the first square.

  3. 3

    Hold the cloths by the twisted tail, with your fingers applying pressure to the ball of wax. Rub the cloths over wood furniture in a circular motion, concentrating on 18-square-inch sections of wood at a time. Rub until the sheen of the wax on the wood begins to dull.

  4. 4

    Wipe the wax off each section of the wood furniture with another clean cloth. Wipe in small circles, concentrating on removing all the excess. If you can smear the wax with your finger, you haven't removed all the excess wax. Change cloths if necessary.

  5. 5

    Apply a second coat of paste wax about two or three hours after the first to fill in any spots you missed. This is optional, but you will notice a definite increase in shine if you add a second coat.

  6. 6

    Buff the entire piece of furniture with another clean cloth. You can use a power buffer to enhance the shine, but hand wiping paste wax is usually sufficient to bring out a rich luster.

Tips and warnings

  • If you wait too long to wipe off the wax, it will harden. Simply apply a little more paste wax to soften the first layer, then wipe off immediately.
  • Maintain your furniture's paste wax finish by dusting it regularly with a damp cloth. Bring the shine back with a dry cloth.

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